The icicle lights were strung on the porch rail with care in the hopes that the judges would consider them fair.
The Youngsville decoration judging committee swept through town Wednesday evening looking for the best of the best of the household Christmas decorations.
A total of seven homeowners submitted their displays for consideration. The judges drove to each of those locations. They evaluated other decorated homes along the way.
Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry
Youngsville Christmas Decoration Judging Committee members, from left, Louise Dyer and Lynn Martin enjoy and evaluate the details at the Ron and Kathy Hodge house.
Committee chair Lynn Martin was joined by Louise Dyer and Piper Olsen. When they were told the Times Observer would send a photographer along with them, this reporter was immediately named the fourth judge.
The entrants spanned the borough, from Thatcher Lane to E. Main Street, Ford to Ninth.
The judges were looking for decorations that were not only festive and showed effort on the part of the homeowner, but some kind of connecting theme.
"One thing that we looked for was that the design flowed and tied all elements together," Dyer said. "A lot of thought and preparation went into these."
Many of the decorations were powered by electricity. The Grinch rising out of a chimney on Ron and Kathy Hodge's porch scored points, as did the powered mailbox that opened to reveal a package from Santa at Mike and Cindy Nyquist's house.
The judges appreciated lower-tech decorations, too.
Kaye and Randy McKinney put Mason jar lanterns in the ornamental tree in their front yard. Sand and a candle occupied each jar and the dancing, orange glow of the flames was very different from the steady LEDs and other types of bulbs.
The Nyquists' decorations took Best In Show.
The Hodges' house decorations were awarded Most Festive.
For their efforts, the McKinneys took Most Traditional.
"We are giving the three category winners a centerpiece made by Larry Haupin of College Street," Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg said.
The other four entrants - Albert Gentile, Gary and Kim Chuzie, Jane Balling, and Peg Peters - were given Honorable Mention and will receive Christmas Cactuses.
"A lot of people put in a lot of work," Dyer said. "They were lovely."
"There were a lot of decorations," Martin said. "It was nice to see people getting into the spirit of Christmas."
"We are very grateful to all that participated in the contest and the time they took to help spread holiday spirit throughout Youngsville," Hagberg said.